5 Misconceptions About Mobile App Marketing That Can Stunt Valuable User Growth


With more than 2 million apps available in the App Store and on Google Play today, there is a significant need for businesses and their marketers to deeply understand their users to win in this competitive environment. As a co-founder at Gallop, I have been immersed in the mobile application development industry, working closely with customers large and small to build, grow and monetize their mobile presence. Since I started my career, the mobile marketing ecosystem has changed dramatically — particularly over the last couple of years. Understanding some common misconceptions will help ensure mobile app marketing success.

Misconception #1: Inexpensive users equal high-quality users.

Most mobile app marketers are familiar with the CPI (cost-per-install) metric, where the name of the game is getting the cheapest user. By focusing on this metric alone, the question becomes: Do you want cheap users or good users? Getting cheap users is easy, getting good users is not. In mobile gaming, the top 1 percent of users tend to be the biggest spenders, driving the majority of an app’s revenue. In fact, our gaming customers have found that these “whales” make up more than 90 percent of their total app revenue. The million-dollar question is: how can app marketers get more whales?

If the goal is for a user to purchase something in your app, then optimize for channels that drive those efforts. If an app’s revenue engine is based on in-app advertising, focus on bringing in users who will remain engaged in your application and thus be more likely to click on ads in your app. Data from a mobile attribution partner can provide valuable insights to help you maximize marketing efforts by channel and grow a high quality, engaged user base. For example, while working with an m-commerce app, we could identify which ads on Facebook resulted in the most purchases in the app. We were then able to optimize budgets and focus on the creative that was driving a positive ROI.


Misconception #2: Focusing on new user acquisition alone will grow your business.

In order to build a revenue-generating business model, app marketers need users who will engage and spend money. These users must generate a lifetime value that is higher than the costs to acquire those users.

According to a recent study by Localytics, 20 percent of users stopped using an app after only using it one time. It is significantly less expensive to re-engage a current app user than it is to acquire a new one, and providing users with a reason or even a reminder to come back is essential for long-term growth. Website retargeting is a multibillion-dollar industry, and you can quickly and easily retarget app users by using your app data. Mobile app engagement ads, push notifications and email are a few of the tactics you can use to ensure your user base remains engaged. Whether a user has initiated a payment flow or reached a new level, marketers have the ability to communicate with those specific users based on their in-app behavior. In addition, by enabling deep-linking (similar to the concept of a URL structure on web that takes you directly to a specific page), your app can be configured to drive users to a specific section of your app, allowing marketers to take a user directly to the most relevant page in the app from any channel.

Misconception #3: Mobile analytics software is for product people, not marketers.

Mobile analytics tools can provide you with an understanding of how users flow through an app and the overall health of an application by showing retention and engagement metrics; however, marketers tend to overlook the underlying value this data can provide to enable them to better target marketing efforts.

Most analytics software including those in Viet Nam software outsourcing and Viet Nam software Services will allow mobile publishers to track mobile advertising IDs (iOS IDFA, Android ID) at the user level. Mobile advertising IDs enable marketers to anonymously track activity for marketing purposes. This data enables marketers to acquire users who exhibit the same demographic, geographic and psychographic characteristics as their best users using look-alike modeling available on channels such as Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, marketers can use this data to retarget segments of users to take action in an application. Whether a marketer uses a third-party mobile analytics solution or develops their own internal system, tracking user IDs is the first step to growing and monetizing an app in a targeted way. By using data-driven targeting, we were able to grow in-app subscriptions by over 30 percent (without increasing spending) in a popular news app and fuel double-digit lifts of key engagement events in a messaging app.

Misconception #4: Marketers need multiple software development kits (SDKs) to measure attribution for each channel.


If you are planning to spend money driving users to your application, a mobile attribution SDK can help you understand the results. Mobile attribution tools track user behavior in your app by acquisition channel. They can generally track a broad array of paid and organic channels to your application using one SDK, enabling you to quickly and easily assess where you can drive the most efficient impact.

For example, when advertising on Facebook, Google and Twitter, you do not need to install a different SDK to measure each channel. The mobile applications I have worked with have seen the most success by choosing an attribution partner based on the following criteria: the number and quality of channels covered, customer service (including integration support), and ability to track all the in-app events that are important for your business.

Misconception #5: Developing creative is a one-time upfront investment.

On the web it is common to see the same banner ad multiple times, with the same copy and creative. If you are only testing one piece of mobile app creative and expecting to use it for the entirety of your campaign, you are missing a huge opportunity. Test multiple creative images and copy, iterate frequently based on what is working and ensure your creative is specific to your channel and the user you are targeting. Also, don’t forget to refresh your creative to drive conversions, as it gets stale quickly. Different channels will reward your efforts in different ways. Facebook, for example, will show your ad more often in the News Feed if it is relevant and fresh. Regular creative refreshes have reduced our customer’s marketing costs by over 35 percent.


Overcoming these mobile marketing misconceptions requires time and resources; however, the benefits result in more efficient marketing that drives higher quality users. Using the wealth of data available, developing a sound strategy for growth and optimizing for your business goals will build a strong foundation for future growth.


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About author

Thao Nguyen

I am working as a Marketer at S3Corp. I am a fan of photography, technology, and design. I’m also interested in entrepreneurship and writing.

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